thoughts_backdrop

Thoughts and views

Utilities: Power Shift Underway?

By Irene Etzkorn on Oct 22, 2014

I was surprised to read that consumption of electricity from utilities is down and isn’t expected to grow in the foreseeable future. In 2008 the recession created a dip in demand, but it seems like yesterday when we were having sizeable regional blackouts and power brownouts because the grid couldn’t keep up with demand.

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Crisis of Complexity Reaches Crescendo

By Irene Etzkorn on Jul 23, 2014

I am feeling disheartened and disillusioned. Each day, I hear people lamenting how difficult it is to make decisions about their finances and their health: smart people, old people, healthy people, wealthy people, heroic people, ordinary people. No one feels confident that their insurance is adequate, their retirement is secure, their children’s education is funded or their medical care assured.

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The Objective of My Affection

By David Grad on Jul 16, 2014

In the corporate world, a big idea can increase shareholder value, unify employees and drive revenue. In the social sector, it can spike fundraising, galvanize audiences and even create meaningful social change. But, as we’ve seen time and time again, a big idea without a clear objective will almost surely only result in short-term gains.

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Loyalty360 Publishes Irene Etzkorn’s Article “Confusion Is Undermining the Value of Loyalty Programs”

By Irene Etzkorn on Jul 2, 2014

Loyalty programs are supposed to offer "feel-good" rewards that solidify the emotional bond between customers and companies. Yet, all too often the complexity of the program feels more like bondage than bonding. Companies who allow their loyalty programs to become too complicated to use or too confusing to understand are turning a positive opportunity into fodder for complaint and dissatisfaction.

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The Consequences of Unclear Consumer Communications

By Laura Berlin Zipfel on May 2, 2014

General Mills’ “forced arbitration” crisis is the most recent in a series of self-induced corporate controversies over unclear company policies and communications. The consumer backlash ignited by General Mills’ lack of clarity evinces the emergence of “activist consumers,” and underscores the need for organizations to join them in combating the systemic issue of overly complex contracts and unclear communications.

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To Catch a (Complexity) Thief

By Alex Goldstein on Mar 24, 2014

Like many consumers, I am dazed and confused by complicated contracts, incomprehensible financial forms and hard-to-use gadgets. And who can tell the difference between the jars of mayonnaise labeled as either “reduced fat,” “low calorie” or “light”? Not me.

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